Each year Environmental Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the environmental industry with our EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Environmental Business Journal is proud to announce its 17th annual business achievement awards. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations, and we hope to see you in San Diego for the official awards ceremony at Environmental Industry Summit XIII on March 11, 2015 at Hotel Solamar in downtown San Diego.
In October-December 2014, EBJ solicited the environmental industry via e-mail, social media, its website, industry events and word-of-mouth for nominations for the EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations may have been adjusted depending on the volume of nominations or the number of worthy recipients. Final awards were determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members.
Disclaimer: company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.
Business Achievement: Small Firms (less than $20 million)
Gold Medal ? E2 ManageTech (Long Beach, CA), a provider of environmental consulting and engineering services and environmental, health, and safety management information services (EMIS), for growing revenue by 67% in 2014. E2 is a certified Small Business Enterprise in the state of California and with the Port of Houston Authority. The firm has seen rapid post-recession growth through significant expansion in its EMIS practice, the development of new vendor alliance sales channels, and the expansion of its more traditional environmental services practice to New York and Texas. E2 is projecting growth of 30% for 2015.
Silver Medal ? Mill City Environmental (MCE; Lowell, MA), a licensed, minority-owned, full service environmental firm, for growth in gross revenue at a rate of 470% over the last five years. The company began as a four-person startup in 2001 with one office and has grown into an award-winning small business with 46 employees and offices in five states. MCE serves federal and private-sector clients in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, South, and Southwestern regions. According to MCE president and CEO Brian Chapman, the key to the company’s success is based upon a philosophy of providing service to each customer with a “personalized collaborative approach.” MCE has recently received several awards for revenue growth, including its being named a 2014 Inc. 5000 awardee by Inc. magazine and being listed as one of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune magazine’s 100 fastest growing companies.
Bronze Medal ? Stell Environmental (Elverson, PA) for growing staff by 28% in 2014, and quadrupling revenue from 2010 to 2014. Now under the leadership of new CEO Julie Erickson, the environmental consulting and engineering firm has a current total of 31 prime contracts and $100 million in contract capacity, primarily with the federal government and in particular with the Department of Defense (DOD). Stell attributes its success to its establishment of strong relationships with clients and its development of a staff that brings innovation in technology and project management. These strong relationships and significant new hires have, according to the company, “facilitated measured expansion with strategic intent in a market where there is still room for quality, successful small businesses.” Mary Jane Stell, the company’s president and founder, continues to provide strong support for the small-business community and the development of woman-owned small businesses.
Honorable Mention ? Great Ecology (La Jolla, CA) for growing revenue by 21% in 2014 to $4.6 million. Although the majority of the firm’s revenue was generated by the expansion of existing client work, in 2014 the firm continued to diversify its client base, adding 13 new clients that accounted for nearly $1 million in revenue. The company also expanded its scope of services with the launch of its landscape architecture practice, further enhancing the firm’s core value of providing excellence in ecology and design. 2014 included the addition of a new forensic environmental science practice as well. Great Ecology has been acknowledged by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s fastest growing private companies for three consecutive years, with a growth rate of 194% from 2011 through 2013, and by The Zweig Letter as one of the 100 Hot Firms for the past two years. With the addition of two new offices this year and several high-level staff members, Great Ecology is strategically positioned to make an impact in six critical markets across the nation.
Honorable Mention ? Southeastern Archeological Research, Inc. (SEARCH; Jacksonville, FL), a provider of cultural resources management services to commercial and government clients, for growing revenue in 2014 by 18% to $12.1 million, profit by 33% to $3.2 million, and earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by 29% to $4 million. Also in 2014, SEARCH increased its backlog by 11% to $12.9 million and its staff by 14% to 90 professionals. SEARCH won several prime contracts in 2014, including a $20 million multiple-award task order contract (MATOC) from the Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth office, and three multi-year general service awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to perform work in Florida and Guam. SEARCH was recognized as an Inc. 5000 company by Inc.magazine and ranked at number 87 on The Zweig Letter’s Hot Firm list for 2014.
Honorable Mention ? Mabbett & Associates Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) for doubling revenue and quadrupling profit since 2010. The company attributes this success to its establishment of a leadership training program, and to winning multi-year contracts for work under U.K. resource efficiency programs from the Scottish government, the Welsh government, and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The company also attributes its success in part to the diversification of its technical services to include air dispersion modeling, occupational hygiene, anaerobic digestion, process safety management, and others. Through its See a Difference initiative, Mabbett has designed and implemented environmental, health, and safety (EHS) projects that have provided its clients with £15.5 million in cost savings, reduced their carbon equivalent emissions by more than 31,000 tons, saved more than 248,000 cubic meters of water, and diverted 11,200 tons of waste from landfills. Mabbett has also invested successfully in a new Mabbett Training Group, which has delivered 80 environmental, health, safety, and quality training courses in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East.
Honorable Mention ? Herndon Solutions Group (Las Vegas NV) for growth from six full-time employees to more than 20 FTEs in 2014, and for its development of a college internship program that provides practical, real-life experience to students. Two interns were participating in the program as of the end of 2014. Since the firm was founded by President and COO Christine Herndon in 2008, Herndon Solutions has enjoyed significant growth supporting customers such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Interior, the U.S. Air Force, and other federal agencies and departments. The firm also works with state and local governments, as well as national and international private-sector entities. In 2014, Herndon Solutions developed two web-based applications—one for the management of administrative records, specifically those meeting NEPA, RCRA, and CERCLA requirements, to ensure continuity, searchability, and usability, and another focused on resource management for equipment and personnel to ensure accountability, manage deployment, and track resource costs for reimbursement following an incident.
Business Achievement: Mid-size Firms ($20 million to $100 million)
Gold Medal ? TerraTherm, Inc. (Gardner, MA), a specialist in thermal remediation technology, for growth in revenue and project diversification. The company increased revenue nearly three-fold to $30 million from 2011 to 2014 and has generated backlog and a near-term project pipeline supporting a forecast of revenue in excess of $36 million for 2015. Revenue has grown at a compounded annual rate of 38% over the last three years, and the number of active projects being treated in 2015 is anticipated to be twice the number treated just three years ago. International revenue has increased over the past two years, to over 35% of total revenue in 2014, making TerraTherm the top in-situ/on-site thermal remediation provider in markets served, according to the company. TerraTherm attributes this success to industry acceptance of in situ and in-pile thermal remediation as a preferred method for addressing large, grossly contaminated source zones. In 2014, TerraTherm designed, constructed, and started up operations of the largest in situ thermal project ever attempted in the world, at the former Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, Arizona. This Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE) system is treating a subsurface volume of 410,000 cubic yards, containing up to 2,000,000 gallons of jet fuel, to a depth of 245 feet below ground surface.
Silver Medal ? EORM (San Jose, CA), a provider of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and sustainability services, for recording its fourth consecutive year of double-digit revenue increases. EORM is projecting a revenue increase of 15%, from $26 million to nearly $31 million, over 2013. Over the last four years, revenue has increased by an average of 23% per year, and annual revenue has more than doubled since 2012. Operating profit is projected to grow 25% from 2013 to 2014 and has seen a six-fold increase over the four-year period. Key to this sustained growth has been the identification of new strategic growth markets, in healthcare, supply-chain services, and energy and success in exceeding revenue goals for each of those categories. Also, tor the third year in a row, EORM was ranked the number one environmental firm in the Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The company’s growth earned it a spot for the first time on Environmental News Record’s Top 200 list. And EORM made its first appearance on the list of Bay Area top Workplaces 2014.
Bronze Medal ? Tighe & Bond (Westfield, MA), a 250-employee environmental consulting and engineering firm, for growing revenue to a projected $45 million in 2014—a steady 7% rate—while generating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 20% of net revenue. The firm, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, is “a moderate-growth, highly profitable firm,” says Tighe & Bond President David Pinsky, “and that’s just where we want to be.” Pinsky attributes the company’s success to the establishment of a culture that can attract talented, hard-working people and to the company’s ability to maintain discipline in executing its strategic plan. Tighe & Bond has steadily expanded its geographic coverage outside of New England and into New York and beyond, and it has enjoyed growth in essentially all of its market segments, including design-build in water/wastewater, civil site planning and development in connection with brownfields redevelopment, and site planning, permitting, and design in connection with solar photovoltaic (PV) power development.
Bronze Medal ? EnSafe, Inc. (Memphis, TN) for growing net revenue by about 7%—on top of an 18% increase in 2013—and generating EBIT of about 14% of net revenue (gross revenue for 2014 is projected to be in the neighborhood of $49 million). The company, an environmental consulting and engineering firm founded in 1980, attributes its growth and improvement in profitability in part to a recent decision to steer its business away from large fixed-price contracts and in part to its ability to develop business with new clients. EnSafe executives report that the firm is very busy, generating good backlog, expanding its customer base, and improving utilization as a result. Also in 2014, EnSafe executed a key step in its strategic plan—establishing a stronger presence in New England—through the acquisition of EnviroSense (Londonderry, NH), a broad-based environmental consultancy serving industrial, commercial, and public-sector clients.
Business Achievement: Large Firms (more than $100 million)
Gold Medal ? Wastren Advantage, Inc. (Piketon, OH), for growing revenue from $8.4 million in 2009 to a projected $125 million in 2014. Founded in the late 1980s, Wastren is a provider of environmental consulting, remediation, waste management, and facilities operations and management services primarily to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). After the completion of some major projects prompted a reduction of annual revenue from approximately $45 million to $10 million in the mid-2000s, Steven Moore, Wastren’s current CEO, was brought on board to lead a thorough reorganization of the company’s approach to marketing and business development. After “re-tooling and right-sizing” through 2008, the company launched a very focused business development and marketing strategy, using more “one on one” contact with clients in pursuing eight major procurements, and “winning every one of them,” according to Moore. Due to the changes in business development focus, the percentage of the company’s revenue coming from the federal government has decreased from about 95% to approximately 70%, as the company wins more commercial construction and remediation work. Moore projects that Wastren will generate approximately $140 million in revenue in 2015.
Silver Medal ? Environmental, social, health, and safety consultancy RSK Group plc (Cheshire, U.K.) for projected growth of better than 25% from approximately £71 million (about $120 million U.S.) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2014, to an anticipated £90 million in revenue for the current fiscal year. EBITDA totaled £6.5 million for the most recently completed fiscal year, and Chief Executive Alan Ryder is expecting similar levels of EBITDA for the current fiscal year. RSK has achieved solid growth by substantially building up its international business while maintaining and nurturing its domestic U.K. business as the nation suffered through the recession years and is now returning to health. Highlights of the past year include major contract wins in the United Kingdom—including a large site investigation job for a nuclear power station in Wales—and the win of a number of projects in the Middle East and east Africa that “will transform the shape of RSK,” according to Ryder.
Bronze Medal ? Woodard & Curran (Portland, ME) for revenue growth of about 16% to $165 million in 2014. Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2014 and reorganizing the company around strategic business units, Woodard & Curran enjoyed organic growth in 2014 that expanded its presence in the Northeast. The company also opened a new office in the St. Louis area and expanded westward in late 2013 through the acquisition of TREC, Inc. (Bozeman, MT), a firm specializing in corrective action, environmental compliance, and site development. In 2014, the firm reached all-time high rankings on The Zweig Letter’s Hot Firm list (number 29) and Engineering News-Record’s list of the top 200 environmental firms (number 67). The company employs about 850 people at 16 offices and 46 contract-operations facilities.
Bronze Medal ? Terra Contracting Services (Kalamazoo, MI) for surpassing the $100 million revenue mark in 2014 and rising among the ranks of firms on Engineering News-Record’s list of the top 200 environmental firms to number 108 from number 124 in 2013. Terra, which was acquired by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corp. in 2013, attributes its growth in recent years to its fastest growing service lines—dredging and remediation of contaminated sediments, oil- and gas-field services, and pipeline support services. A large-scale oil spill of over one million gallons in 2010 along a 25-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan paved the way for Terra’s growing expertise in contaminated sediment treatment solutions along rivers and lakes. The company says that an EPA Region 5 Great Lakes National Program Office Cleanup Services (GLNPOCS) contract also hastened and refined the firm’s skill set.
Business Achievement: Mergers & Acquisitions
AECOM Technology, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) for its $6 billion acquisition in 2014 of URS Corp. (San Francisco, CA), thereby combining the number one firm on Engineering News-Record’s list of the top 500 design firms-AECOM-with the number three firm, and thus forming an engineering and construction giant with annual revenue of more than $19 billion. The combined firm employs approximately 100,000 professionals in 150 countries and includes an environmental staff of about 10,000 people. According to AECOM, the complementary acquisition brings additional services and environmental professionals in critical regions beyond the Americas, such as Europe, where AECOM has tripled its presence in the world’s second largest environmental market. The new resources also provide a direct complement in remediation design and construction, assessment, planning and permitting, environmental compliance, and the emerging area of climate adaptation, and they add new industrial construction capacity, creating a full asset life-cycle environmental consultancy.
WSP USA (Reston, VA) for its acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) from Balfour Beatty plc, thereby creating one of the largest pure-play multidisciplinary consulting firms in the world, with combined revenue of $4.8 billion and approximately 31,500 employees in 500 offices located in 39 countries. The combined entity employs approximately 2,500 environmental professionals providing environmental, planning, sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate preparedness services to clients around the globe. According to WSP, the two companies’ environmental expertise was very complementary, with little overlap in geographic coverage. Also in 2014, WSP strengthened its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) capabilities through the acquisition of ccrd (New York, NY), bringing the number of WSP’s buildings professionals to 1,050 people in 16 offices and strengthening WSP’s capabilities in the healthcare, science, and technology markets.
Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA; Waterloo, Ontario) and Australia-based GHD Group for completing their merger in July, thereby creating a global architecture, engineering, environmental consulting, and construction services firm employing 8,500 people, including 4,000 in North America. The merger was one of the largest private stock transactions ever in the engineering and environmental consulting industry-if not the largest-and it represented a rare “merger of equals,” according to industry analysts. CRA’s goal had been to leverage its environmental, geotechnical, and forensic engineering capabilities and broaden its business in the municipal infrastructure markets, while for GHD the merger represented a major step forward in its effort to increase its growth in North America, where the combined company now has more than 130 offices, to go along with 60 other offices outside the continent.
POWER Engineers, Inc. (Hailey, ID), for its acquisition of Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc. (BRE; Oradell, NJ), one of the most venerable names in the power engineering industry. POWER Engineers has been steadily acquiring over the years, with the principal aim of providing a full range of consulting and engineering services to power project developers. Burns and Roe had been suffering financially but provided significant complementary capabilities, according POWER Engineers CEO Jack Hand, who describes the deal as “four times bigger than anything we’ve done.” Specifically, POWER Engineers was strong on the delivery side of the power business, with more than 1,100 professionals working in delivery, but had only 400 professionals in the power generation segment, where Burns and Roe was especially strong. With the Burns and Roe resources on board, Hand projects that revenue from power generation work can grow from $60 million to $70 million annually today to $150 million within the next five years.
Consulting, design, and engineering firm Ramboll Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) for significantly expanding its global footprint and establishing a base in the United States through the acquisition of ENVIRON Holdings Inc. (Arlington, VA), a firm that employs more than 1,500 environmental and health science specialists in the United States and 20 other countries. According to Ramboll, which employs a total of about 12,500 people in 35 countries, the combination with ENVIRON places it among the top 10 environmental consultancies in the world, with 2,700 professionals working in the areas of environment, health, and water. With the ENVIRON team on board, Ramboll will have a particularly strong presence in the Nordic countries, North America, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East, and India, and it will have “significant representation” in Asia, Australia, South America, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. (NASDAQ:GLDD), the largest provider of dredging services in the United States, for the acquisition of Magnus Pacific Corp., a remediation contractor that was expected to generate $118 million of revenue in 2014. Headquartered near Sacramento, Calif. With regional offices in Dallas, Denver and Seattle, Magnus’ services include levee rehabilitation, slurry wall construction, mine reclamation, ground stabilization and wetlands improvements. Magnus will team with GLDD’s January 2013 acquisition of 200-person Terra Contracting. CEO Jon Berger said “With this transaction, we now have a nationwide platform with significant skills in executing complex environmental and geotechnical projects both on land and water.”
NV5 Holdings, Inc. (Hollywood, FL) for continuing an aggressive campaign to grow the company primarily through acquisition, adding four companies in 2014. In February, NV5 acquired Air Quality Consulting, Inc. (AQC; Tampa, FL), a provider of occupational health, safety, and environmental consulting services to industrial and commercial customers. In March, the firm picked up AK Environmental, LLC (West Trenton, NJ), a 120-employee inspection, construction management, and environmental consulting firm that primarily serves natural gas pipeline companies in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Southeast. In July, NV5 strengthened its program management capabilities through the acquisition of Owner’s Representative Services, Inc. (ORSI), a specialist in healthcare facilities development and construction operating out of offices in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and Greenwood Village, Colorado. And in November, NV5 acquired the Buric Companies (Cleveland, OH), consisting of Zollinger Buric, Inc. and Buric Global LLC, which combined employ 15 engineering and construction management professionals and provide program management and construction claims consulting services, as well as building information modeling, critical path scheduling, surety consulting, and litigation support services.
Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES; Houston TX) for its acquisition in late 2014 of Environmental Banc & Exchange (EBX), thereby significantly expanding RES’s mitigation banking service to include new sectors of conservation (i.e., species) banking and water-quality nutrient banking. EBX is a provider of customized mitigation and ecological offset products operating from offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia. With the addition of EBX, RES is supplying wetland, stream, and habitat offsets for linear infrastructure projects spanning multiple geographies, from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania and Ohio to the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast. Also in 2014, RES entered a new market through a contract to supply ecological offsets to a major player in the mining industry.
CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for its acquisition in April 2014 of Canada-based TERA Environmental Consultants. With offices in Alberta and British Columbia, TERA focuses on providing environmental consulting services to the Canadian pipeline, power line, and oil and gas industries. TERA’s staff is anchored by a group of professional environmental planners who provide project leadership in managing various regulatory processes, supported by a diverse array of technical and scientific specialists. CH2M HILL’s growth in the Canadian energy industry is strengthened by TERA’s offering of siting, licensing, permitting, and environmental planning services, now allowing CH2M HILL to provide clients the full spectrum of environmental services. Going forward into 2015, the TERA disciplines, when combined with similar assets within CH2M HILL, create a global environmental planning and permitting practice of more than 800 professionals across 23 disciplines.
Cardno Ltd. (Portland, OR) for execution of its 45th merger in 2014, a deal that continued to strengthen the company’s ability to serve the expanding oil and gas industry worldwide. In April, Cardno acquired the PPI Group of companies (Houston, TX) for $145 million. PPI provides engineering services to the oil and gas sector in the United States, West Africa, and Asia Pacific. PPI specializes in providing drilling and production; quality and asset management; and engineering and construction services to the midstream and upstream oil and gas sector. The firm generated $133 million in revenue during calendar year 2013.
National Response Corp. (NRC; Great River, NY) for its acquisitions of Sureclean Ltd. (Alness, Scotland) and Specialized Response Solutions (SRS; Fort Worth, TX) in March 2014, and of Emerald Alaska, LLC (Anchorage, AK) in November 2014. With the acquisitions, NRC significantly expanded its reach as a provider of regulatory compliance and emergency response services under the United States Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and built up its presence as a global provider of diversified environmental, industrial, and emergency solutions, with a focus on providing highly responsive local service with the highest safety standards, innovative technology, modern efficient equipment, and dedicated professional employees. NRC combines local services and knowledge with the global strengths of a major international company to deliver quality service in the United States and worldwide.
Business Achievement: Information Technology
Aquatic Informatics Inc. (Vancouver, British Columbia), a provider of environmental information management software with a primary focus on water, for rapid growth in 2014 and its introduction of two new products this past year. The company introduced the AQUARIUS WebPortal, which allows the publication of data and information on line and to mobile devices for various stakeholders, including water departments, cooperating agencies, and the public. This data and information can include interactive maps, statistics, e-mail/SMS alerts, and live reports. Customers include the Brisbane City Council in Australia, where 450 officials rely on AQUARIUS WebPortal to effectively manage the city during flash floods. The company also introduced Aquarius Forecast, which allows users to build models, simulations, and forecasts of complex water resource systems using time series data. The operator of the Malaysia Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) is using the program to make timely decisions on vehicle traffic management during severe flooding events. Aquatic Informatics was also recognized by Deloitte as a 2014 Technology Fast 500 company.
EarthSoft, Inc. (Concord, MA) for continued revenue growth and the addition of multiple new clients in 2014, especially in the oil & gas sector. New oil & gas clients include ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP Australia, Seneca Resources, and others. New clients in other sectors include CH2M Hill, Seattle Public Utilities, Antea Nederlands, and more URS and Arcadis offices. EarthSoft created a Business Partner Program, under which the company has identified large consultants who have licenses to supply EarthSoft’s EQuIS software, EarthSoft’s endorsement, and trained staff to implement these large enterprise-level systems for government and industrial clients. Members of the program include CH2M Hill, Critigen, Environmental Standards Inc., ERM, Golder Associates, and SGS. EarthSoft also added senior staff in Australia and Germany in 2014.
Locus Technologies (Mountain View, CA) for making significant strategic strides in 2014 by entering a new environmental segment, water quality management (drinking water supplies and waste water); launching a new product offering, Locus Mobile; and introducing its new Locus Platform. In addition, the company reported record sales across all products. Entering the mobile app market, Locus Mobile is a field data collection solution that is fully integrated with Locus’s flagship Environmental Information Management (EIM) platform and the new Locus Platform. Initial Locus Mobile customers include Los Alamos National Laboratory, DuPont, and Versar. Locus also cemented its leadership position in the commercial nuclear industry, with more than 50% of all U.S. commercial reactors now using Locus EIM for radionuclide monitoring management, including customers such as Exelon, Arizona Public Service, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison. In addition, Locus was awarded a major environment data management contract from Chevron Environmental Management Co. and added new management team members hailing from Oracle, ServiceNow, and Hewlett-Packard.
3E Company (Carlsbad, CA) for its introduction of new products and continue delivery of improvements to existing products. In 2014, the company introduced Ariel WebInsight Mobile, a mobile reference tool for chemical regulatory compliance. 3E also released its Supply Chain regulatory alert system, which ensures that manufacturers are aware of changes to regulatory requirements for a specific material. In addition, 3E extended its content and data offering, expanding regulatory content and data into the cosmetics, food, food contact, personal care, and pharmaceuticals industries. The company also further extended the reach of its partner ecosystem, announcing collaborations with software providers such as Enablon and Locus Technologies. In addition, 3E continued to expand its global presence by opening a new Tokyo office, which will serve as the firm’s Asia Pacific headquarters.
MWH Global (Irvine, CA) for its development of the WBER water security software package, which rapidly models the water consumption and water quality impacts of manufacturing processes and treatment technologies, identifying potential reuse and reduction opportunities. The cloud-based WBER tool generates multiple flow scenarios, allowing the examination of multiple process configurations in a fraction of the time of traditional methods and providing the strategic information necessary to identify areas that can impact operations, according to the company. Output is instantaneous and provides a wide array of key performance indicators for water usage, water quality, capital expenditure, operating expenditure, and energy consumption. MWH Global reports that two global manufacturers in the semiconductor and aviation industries have achieved significant costs savings through their use of the WBER tool.
Project Merit: Remediation
TRC Companies Inc. (Lowell, MA) for its remediation design and construction work at a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) and Superfund site in Vermont, located close to a large lake and drinking water supply. The MGP wastes impacted sediments in a lake tributary and were capped in place in 2002. Within four years, low part-per-billion levels of BTEX contaminants were detected in two monitoring wells 80 feet from the lake, and concentrations were increasing considerably. Based upon this data, TRC determined that a vertical barrier was necessary to prevent further contaminant migration. The worksite was a railroad embankment that presented construction challenges since it was less than 100 feet wide, surrounded on both sides by water, and had three active railroad lines, a recreation path, and a 34kV overhead electric transmission line running through the site. After completing field investigations and evaluating options, TRC recommended and designed a partially penetrating, 300-foot-long, 40-foot-deep jet grout barrier wall to block NAPL migration in permeable sands and redirect the dissolved BTEX fraction up and into an overlying peat layer with a high organic carbon content to provide treatment. The unusual “funnel and gate” design accounts for groundwater flow reversals, requires no power, halts the migration of NAPLs, and is sustainable and cost effective.
Cabrera Services Inc. (East Hartford, CT) for its completion of turnkey remediation activities at the Linde Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) site in Tonawanda, New York, thereby securing unrestricted release of the 135-acre manufacturing facility. Serving as the prime contractor under a multiple-award remediation contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers’ Buffalo District, Cabrera managed all aspects of the remediation; including safety, quality, radiological release, restoration, transport, and disposal tasks. Using precision excavation techniques, Cabrera removed 25,440 tons of radiologically contaminated soil in close proximity to buildings, utility lines, and rail spurs. The company also secured state approval for the beneficial reuse of 29,800 tons of soil and crushed concrete as on-site backfill, and for the off-site recycling of 16,857 tons of non-contaminated debris, thereby achieving more than $10 million in cost savings. Cabrera was commended by the Corps of Engineers for achieving a stellar safety record, with zero lost-time incidents in the 231,864 hours worked on the project. Cabrera completed the project more than three years ahead of the task order’s period-of-performance end date of September 30, 2017.
O’Brien & Gere (Syracuse, NY) for its design of the remedial program strategy for implementing a combination of in situ remedial technologies at the largest in situ thermal remediation site in the world, the Teterboro Landing site in Teterboro, New Jersey. For 70 years, the 63-acre site was used for manufacturing aircraft technology. In 2007, it was purchased for redevelopment, with an accelerated timeframe of 3.5 years needed to complete the site investigation and cleanup. O’Brien & Gere was contracted as the project’s lead environmental consultant, and to provide Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) oversight services to remediate the site and prepare it for commercial redevelopment. The company successfully managed a variety of innovative investigation and remediation technologies to complete the characterization and remediation of large, multi-acre chlorinated-solvent source zones within the required redevelopment timeframe. A significant component of the remediation involved in-situ thermal treatment, where remedial goals were met through an in situ thermal desorption (ISTD) treatment program. Approximately 35,000 pounds of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) were removed over 3.2 acres with depths extending to 40 feet. The company also identified a secondary area that warranted in-situ chemical oxidation treatment due to the discrete nature of the CVOC impacts.
TerraTherm Inc. (Gardner, MA) for its role in delivering and implementing the ISTD remedial solution at the Teterboro Landing site (see above). TerraTherm’s lump-sum, fixed-price contract value was $15.5 million for turnkey service and guaranteed cleanup, covering an area of 3.2 acres with a treated volume of 122,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. The contamination consisted of chlorinated compounds including tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and Freon-113. The cleanup at the site, which operated for less than eight months and was completed in 2014, constituted the largest ISTD project ever completed. In order to confirm complete treatment and achievement of the regulatory-required remedial goal of 1 milligram per kilogram (mg/kg) of chlorinated solvents or less, more than 270 soil samples were collected from 56 locations. Comparing the pre- and post-treatment soil concentrations, the four principal CVOCs were each reduced by greater than 99.99%.
Project Merit: Water
American Water (Voorhees NJ) for its innovative approach to removing algae from a reservoir that serves as a water supply for the company’s Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Short Hills, New Jersey. Algae growth in some surface water supplies has increased as summers grow warmer in much of North America. For many years, the reservoirs that serve as the Canoe Brook plant’s water supply have experienced algal growth, leading to customer complaints about disagreeable tastes and odors. Typically, the algae present in the lake was treated with copper sulfate, an expensive compound that’s toxic to algae but also to other aquatic life, and can lead to the development of copper-resistant algal strains. In an effort to reduce costs, improve operations, and reduce customer complaints, in 2014, American Water installed four solar-powered ultrasonic algae-control buoys manufactured by Netherlands-based LG Sonic in Reservoir No. 1. These buoys transmit ultrasonic waves continuously to disrupt algal cells, causing them to sink and preventing proliferation. This was the first installation of this relatively new technology for drinking-water reservoirs in North America. Extensive testing conducted during 2014 showed that the buoys had a significant impact on the algae, allowing the treatment plant to reduce chemical consumption by more than 20%, and reducing the concentration of compounds that can cause undesirable tastes and odors.
Riverside Technology Inc. (Fort Collins, CO) for its work with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) on the design, execution, and implementation of a reporting system based on the software package AQUARIUS. The system automates data collection processes, performs calculations, and creates reports with varying levels of complexity. It automatically and continuously loads hundreds of data streams from MWRA’s various supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems into the AQUARIUS Time-Series data management system. Customized scripts flag suspicious data based on MWRA’s internal business rules. After manual review and approval through the AQUARIUS Springboard interface, the quality-controlled data from various data sources are consolidated into data sets that are subsequently used as inputs to custom calculations. These calculations produce thousands of derived data products, many of which are then reported through the Sharpshooter tool. In addition to developing and implementing this system, Riverside is training MWRA staff on the new system to assist them in efficiently and effectively adhering to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations. In 2014, Riverside became the first company to be designated an AQUARIUS Certified Integrator through AQUARIUS developer Aquatic Informatics.
Project Merit: Environmental Analysis
Nautilus Environmental (San Diego, CA) for its successful real-time evaluation of aquatic species’ exposures to toxic substances. Under current EPA methods for the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), gametophyte spores are released in the laboratory, then directly exposed to test material. Because the spores are mobile and microscopic, it is difficult to conduct real-time in situ exposures to better characterize dynamic environments (i.e., stormwater plumes). In partnership with AMEC and the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), and using SPAWAR’s SEA-Ring technology, Nautilus conducted field tests in which kelp blades were exposed to the receiving environment in situ during storm events at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at Naval Base San Diego. Spores from the blades exposed in the field were released into clean seawater and a copper reference series in the laboratory and allowed to continue to the standard EPA endpoint. Results indicate that field-exposed sporophyll blades show comparable dose response and sensitivity. This work confirms that in situ kelp exposure for toxicity evaluations is possible at the sporophyll level and may have future implications for stormwater or other sites and projects that would benefit from relevant in situ monitoring methods.
Project Merit: Habitat Restoration
Colorado Springs Utilities (Colorado Springs, CO) for its completion of the Fountain Creek Improvement Project, an initiative designed to return a section of Fountain Creek to a more natural flow pattern and to reduce erosion and sedimentation. Fountain Creek originates near Pikes Peak and flows south through Colorado Springs, Fountain, and Pueblo, where it joins the Arkansas River. The Fountain Creek project fulfills a mitigation requirement of the Southern Delivery System (SDS), a major water supply project ongoing in southern Colorado. The $4.2 million project included re-establishment and stabilization of a channel for the creek to return to its normal flow pattern, grading and terracing of formerly eroding banks, and placement of structures at the beginning and end of the creek section to slow water and reduce its force. It also includes new wetland basins to collect high flows and enable high storm flows to percolate naturally underground. The project is minimizing impacts to neighboring property owners and serves as a model for potential other projects to effectively address flooding, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.
Project Merit: Community Revitalization
Sullivan International Group, Inc. (San Diego, CA) for its support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 office and the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in their efforts to identify opportunities for neighborhood revitalization through the cleanup of abandoned gas station sites in the I-710 corridor in Los Angeles County. At one site, in the city of Bellflower, Sullivan’s provided assistance in the redevelopment of a former fueling and service station into a restaurant. The city’s plans for redeveloping the site, which had been abandoned for decades, had been halted by the discovery of underground storage tanks (USTs) on the property. Sullivan helped identify the site through its outreach efforts and assisted the city in accessing federal site-assessment funding, thus enabling the redevelopment project to move forward as part of downtown Bellflower’s Revitalization Vision Strategy, for which the city received a “Neighborhood Planning Award” from the American Planning Association in 2012. As a result of the project’s success, Sullivan has been tasked with expanding such community revitalization efforts state-wide under the Abandoned Storage Tank Initiative.
Project Merit: Waste Management
Korea Environment Corporation (Keco; Incheon, Republic of Korea) for its work supporting the South Korean government’s efforts to reduce the generation of food waste. In order to promote the voluntary reduction of food wastes, the government adopted a volume-based food-waste fee system under which it charges waste treatment fees based on volume. To support this program, Keco developed and deployed an information management system using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to provide accurate measurement of food waste by weight. The collection, use, and disclosure of this information serve as critical preconditions for the efficient operation of the fee system. It advances the national food-waste volume-reduction policy by enabling the collection of discharge data in real time, the management of collection and fee data, and the management of statistical data.
Project Merit: Air Quality
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) for its support of Kuwait Oil Company’s (KOC) implementation of an award-winning air quality improvement program that is setting the standard for collaboration between oil companies and government agencies throughout the Gulf Region. The objective of the Air Compliance Management Program is to improve Kuwait’s overall environment and public health. The first-ever joint venture of its type between industry and regulators, the five-year program was launched in 2011, when Kuwait was identified as one of most polluted countries in the world. KOC, aware of its responsibility to enhance and sustain the environment, commissioned AECOM to develop a legislative and policy framework for the program. The company subsequently developed a system providing real-time measurement of pollution across the country, pioneering a national air quality inventory with research-grade dispersion modeling techniques to determine human health risk. AECOM is now developing an emissions abatement and reduction program and has begun establishing an on-line permitting system for pollution control while conducting extensive personnel training. AECOM is also undertaking an innovative source apportionment study, utilizing satellite-based techniques to define pollutant source contributions. The air quality program recently won the first-place award at the 26th Session of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment, presented by the United Nations assistant secretary general.
Technology Merit: Site Investigation
CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for its successful investigation and assessment of explosives contamination at the WWII Defence Site Maribyrnon (DSM) in Victoria, Australia. For more than a decade, the Australian Department of Defence (DOD) had considered this project “too technically hard and complex,” and multiple assessments by other international consultants had continually been deemed inconclusive. Working in collaboration with the DOD, CH2M HILL assembled a cross-discipline, advanced-technology team of multinational civil engineers and safety, environmental, and explosives experts, who delivered a complex, custom-designed project in a very aggressive timeframe. Using historical explosive manufacturing methods as the basis for the work, the team began with a focused investigation of only those areas of the site that had the highest likelihood of containing explosives, and it completed the site assessment in record time and under budget. The work resulted in a significant time and cost savings to the client, enabling the DOD to move forward with critical planning needed to remediate the site and divest the 127 hectare property to the state of Victoria for redevelopment into a mix of commercial and residential property.
Technology Merit: Remediation
Soil-Therm Equipment, Inc. (Agoura Hills, CA) for its development and site-testing of new thermal technologies for cleaning contaminated soil using high-performance gas-fired burners for injecting heat into sealed radiant wells. According to the company, the new gas-fired heating process is less expensive to operate and provides faster soil heating, lower heating costs, and less equipment in the field than other types of in situ thermal desorption (ISTD) heating technologies currently on the market. The new technologies include the DWR-1 DownWell burner, which can produce up to 300,000 Btu’s per hour of heat at temperatures to 1850F, pressures of up to 20 pounds per square inch, gauge (psig), and flows of up to 250 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm); the DWR-1HE DownWell burners with integrated heat exchangers that recover valuable exhaust heat after soil heating, resulting in 80 to 88% “effective heat to soil” energy utilization of propane and natural gas fuels; and the SVE Extraction System with the DWR-CL3 DownWell gas-fired oxidizer burner/heater for destroying extracted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chlorinated vapors in an 8-inch sealed well casing while creating heat for contaminated soil heating during ISTD operations.
Technology Merit: Water
Cambrian Innovation (Boston, MA) for the development and commercialization of the EcoVolt wastewater treatment system. In 2014, Cambrian Innovation became what it believes to be the first company in history to successfully commercialize a bioelectric wastewater technology, one that could dramatically expand access to sustainable clean water. EcoVolt is a modular wastewater treatment system deployed on site at food and beverage production facilities and applying advanced biotechnology to treat wastewater and generate clean energy. In 2014, Cambrian installed an EcoVolt system at a Bear Republic Brewing Co. facility, saving the brewery $200,000 annually by offsetting up to 50% of the site’s base-load electricity needs with clean energy. Cambrian also expanded its EcoVolt deployment with Lagunitas Brewing Co. after the initial installation exceeded performance expectations. EcoVolt saves Lagunitas the cost of transporting more than 189 cubic meters per day of wastewater to a municipal utility for treatment, eliminating 3,000 truck trips and saving $1.5 million annually. The return on investment on an EcoVolt system can be as short as two years, according to the company.
OriginOil (Los Angeles, CA) for its development and deployment of technology that can help companies engaged in the production of oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” conserve water resources. A prime target for water conservation measures is fracking operations, in which an average of eight barrels of contaminated water are generated for every barrel of oil produced in the United States. OriginOil’s Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology cost-effectively removes 99% of oils, suspended solids, insoluble organics, and bacteria from produced water and frack flowback. This closed-loop EWS process enables on-site recycling, thereby significantly reducing the amount of fresh water extracted from the watershed and mitigating the need for trucking and disposal. EWS can also be paired with downstream polishing technologies as part of a comprehensive industrial water system for even greater impact. In 2014, OriginOil saw its first commercial sale when Synergy Resources purchased four EWS systems to treat produced water and oily wastes at operations in Trinidad & Tobago. More recently, Gulf Energy selected EWS to power its water treatment operations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Technology Merit: Air Pollution Control
ClearSign Combustion Corp. (Seattle, WA) for its Duplex technology, a burner architecture that drastically improves the environmental performance of stationary combustion systems. A major source of global emissions is the combustion of hydrocarbons in industrial boilers, burners, kilns, and furnaces, in everything from manufacturing facilities to oil refineries and power plants. The Duplex technology facilitates control over flame shape, pattern, and heat distribution to reduce the formation of harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 95%. In addition, the Duplex burner improves the fuel efficiency and throughput of combustion systems. For the first time, says ClearSign, air pollution control is not just a mandate-driven cost of doing business, but an economic and profitable endeavor across the board. The Duplex technology easily integrates into virtually any burner, in both vertical and horizontal configurations. In 2014, ClearSign secured customers in Bakersfield, California, deploying the Duplex burner in refinery and oil-field applications.
New Practice Areas
WSP USA (Reston, VA) for its introduction of a suite of services for energy and water management program assessment and development under the company’s new Industrial Energy and Water Management practice. The services include strategic planning with a bottom-up and top-down approach to evaluating water and energy consumption reduction measures, the management of downstream waste and wastewater generation, and the control of associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts. The linkage between energy, water, wastewater, and GHG emissions has become an important topic for industrial manufacturing operations, and productivity initiatives across the industrial manufacturing sector are creating demand for energy and water programs that reduce operating costs while providing environmental benefits. WSP’s Industrial Energy and Water Management team, led by Todd Musterait, a licensed professional engineer and certified LEED and ISI Envision sustainability professional, customizes programs that allow clients to optimize energy and water use, effectively manage waste and wastewater, and drive improvements that use resources more efficiently, all of which bring cost savings to the organization while reducing its environmental footprint.
Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES; Neptune, NJ) for the establishment of a new operations, maintenance, and monitoring (OM&M) “Center of Excellence” (COE) Consolidating GES’ expertise and service offering in OM&M, the new initiative addresses the need for consistent quality assurance, safety, and risk management across large-scale environmental programs in what is often the most expensive and lengthy phase of a remediation project. The COE leverages GES’ strong technical field capabilities, a highly effective behavior-based safety program—one that yielded zero, recordable injuries over a full calendar year—and a geographically dispersed talent base into an offering that facilitates the sharing of best practices and lessons learned across the GES enterprise. It is part of a cohesive program management approach that encompasses sophisticated account management, detailed quality standards for systems engineering and OM&M, and the use of a balanced scorecard system with metrics to drive high performance and continuous improvement. GES performs more than $20 million annually in OM&M services for Fortune 100 manufacturing and oil and gas companies as well as state and federal agencies.
HDR, Inc. (Omaha, NE) for the establishment of the HDR Foundation and its issuance of grants amounting to more than $340,000 in its first two years to more than 20 organizations throughout the United States. Grantees include Green Empowerment (Portland, Oregon), which provides renewable energy and water systems to impoverished communities, and City Blossoms (Washington, D.C.), which develops community green spaces where youth gardeners are provided with in-school, after-school, and summer programs. The HDR Foundation supports 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that focus on creating healthy communities, expanding interest in education, and enhancing the environment. The foundation’s giving is targeted to the communities in which HDR’s employees live and work and to organizations for which HDR employees volunteer.
Ownership Transition & Industry Leadership
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, PA) for its execution of two key changes in its ownership structure and corporate registration—becoming 100% owned by its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and registered as a public benefit corporation (PBC) under Delaware law. The company says that these changes were implemented to enhance the firm’s long-term sustainability and make EA a “first-mover” among major national environmental companies. By putting the company at the forefront of a dynamic market shift toward responsible and sustainable business practices, the changes further advance EA’s distinctive culture and mission while enhancing the value created for its employees, clients, communities, and the environment. As a 100% ESOP, the economic power generated by EA is fully dedicated to growing the company and building the retirement benefits of its employees. Adoption of PBC status is in perfect alignment with the company’s environmental mission, the employees’ interest in supporting their communities, and EA’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. As a PBC, the company will plan, measure, report, and promote its specific public benefits as it remains focused exclusively on the delivery of professional environmental services.